OVER the past 50 years the Leader has been there to record good times and bad.

We have seen the end of steelmaking and the closure of the last coal pit, lived through a three day week, a fuel strike, the deaths of two princesses and a royal matriarch. There’s been a whole clutch of royal weddings and the birth of a future king.

Along with the rest of the world we witnessed the impeachment of an American president. We were gripped by the horror of 9/11 and 7/7, and the ultimate death of the terrorist mastermind behind the atrocities. We’ve seen regimes rise and fall, despots executed and the planet devastated by earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes and tsunamis. We’ve seen famine and floods, we’ve seen our country go to war and buried our dead heroes.

In four decades we have celebrated the silver, gold and diamond jubilees of our late queen, the coronation of King Charles III, shared in the glory and triumph of the 2012 Games and followed the winning and losing of our sporting legends, We’ve enjoyed the boom years and struggled when the economic bubble burst. We’ve written of records made and broken, marked births, marriages, deaths, success and shame as all our lives have been transformed by technology putting news at our fingertips at all times of the day or night.

Here in North East Wales the Leader was there to cover local government reorganisation, not once, but twice, seeing the creation and demise of some council areas. Clwyd, along with Delyn and Alyn and Deeside councils, disappeared as had the earlier urban and rural authorities, but Flintshire came back and the new county of Wrexham was created. Denbighshire was re-aligned and, of course, the Welsh Government was created. In more recent times Wrexham has been awarded city status.

We also went through the pandemic, when we all had to stay at home and keep safe. Sadly many lost their lives and we all had to learn a new way of living.

The Leader brought out special supplements to mark significant events including the Mold and Towyn floods, royal visits and the expansion of Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Every year we’ve been there for the Buckley Jubilee and the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and we produced a special edition of the Leader with a Welsh front page when the National Eisteddfod came to Mold.

READ MORE: The Leader - at the heart of communities for 50 years

In the 1990s Wrexham was mourning the deaths of seven children trapped in the early morning fire in Nelson Street which engulfed a whole family while they slept.

Five children died on August 10 1995 and two more soon afterwards including a friend on a sleep over. Neighbours had fought frantically, but in vain, to save the children.

Many will still be haunted by those harrowing memories, including the firefighters who battled valiantly in atrocious heat to rescue those trapped.

In February 1991 John Perry murdered his Filipino wife Arminda at their home in Higher Kinnerton. It threw the sleepy little village into the unwanted media spotlight.

Five years later former Flintshire cinema owner Peter Moore was described as ‘the most dangerous man ever to set foot in Wales’.

He was convicted in 1996 for a killing spree that shocked Britain, stabbing to death and mutilating four men. Since then we have two unsolved murders on the patch with the brutal deaths of Mold postman Paul Savage and Abermorddu pensioner Elsie Hughes.

In more recent times we have covered the shocking murder of Jade Ward who's family have successfully campaigned for parental rights to be removed from parents who have killed the other parent.

The big boost for Wrexham in 2020 was actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney buying Wrexham AFC which has seen other big name Hollywood stars visit Wrexham.

And not forgetting Wrexham's promotion back into the football league after 15 years.

This city status resulted in a visit from King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

These are just a few.

Here's to the next 50 years!